In the 1930s, the revisionist movement sought to alter the prevalent view that Germany was the major instigator of WWI and therefore the Treaty of Versailles was just punishment. The revisionists believed that an accurate historical understanding of the roots of the Great War would discourage involvement in future conflicts and promote peace. Walter Millis’s 1935 book Road to War: America 1914-1917 was considered by many to be a call to isolationism.
Millis later qualified his position in a 1941 essay:
“… Between these two views there can be no scientific or rational decision; neither the evils of any war in which we might in fact become involved nor the evils of a Hitler victory are exactly measurable; they are not even exactly foreseeable.
“At the bottom, no doubt it is an emotional reaction; and perhaps both sides tend to clothe their instinctive attitude in pseudo-logic. The one side, I am certain, exaggerates the ability of the United States to defend itself alone in a totalitarian world; it indulges in fantastic hopes of a negotiated peace; it hides it in contemplation of the crimes of the British, or the failings of democracy, both of which are completely irrelevant to the fact that the British, however criminal, are in fact fighting for the reconstruction of the kind or world we have known and that democracy, however faulty, is still preferable to the totalitarian rule of force and fraud. Of this I am certain.
Perhaps the other side, which seems to me on incomparably firmer ground, also buttresses its position with wishful thinking.”